Friday, April 15, 2011

Republicans Move to End Medicare: Democrats Fail to Stop Wars

Meanwhile, the Struggling Masses "Die on the Vine"

By: Dr. J. P. Hubert

Republicans have become the party of the Plutocrats (read Kleptocrats) who if Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has his way, intend to create a kind of social Darwinism not seen since the late 1800's and early 1900's, if ever. Were the Republicrats to have their way, all social programs for the poor, disabled, unemployed and otherwise socially challenged would be totally eliminated under the rubric of forced austerity re: radically slashing needed social programs without concomitantly raising taxes.

Read My Lips, No New Taxes:

Note that Republicans never envision a need to raise taxes no matter how dire the situation. Moreover, they see no need to reduce military (read "War") spending significantly. The Republicrats have never met a war they didn't like unless their is no opportunity to 1) steal the natural resources of countries we attack/occupy and or 2) make hideous amounts of money off of the manufacture of weapons which are better at killing non-combatant civilians than perceived enemy soldiers.  In Pakistan last year almost 1000 innocent people were put to death as a result of American drone attacks.

What about the Democrats?

Unfortunately the Democrats are no better. While making perfunctory noises about the need to preserve critical entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare through the increase of taxes on millionaires and billionaires, the vast majority of Democrats are simply "Republican-light" when it comes to reducing the bloated Defense/National Security budgets. That of course is where the real money lies. A recent conservative estimate indicates that combined, the two are scheduled to waste in excess of 1.3 trillion dollars during the next fiscal year, a number which is totally absurd by virtually any conceivable standard or metric. It is well-known that the USA spends as much per year on "Defense" as the next 17 nations combined. Is this not insane?

Defense Department or War Department?

The United States currently operates a Hegemonic Empire through the exercise of raw military power. The stratagem employed is the initiating and prosecuting of immoral and unnecessary offensive wars of aggression primarily aimed at the resource-rich areas of the world. As John Smith wrote for Truthdig in October 2010:

"In the end it is still about the resources: they have it, we don’t To continue to survive as a “superpower” we must have those resources, regardless of the consequences."

What this really means is; we do not have a Defense Department or a National Security State in the traditional sense but rather a "War Department" and a National Insecurity State designed to benefit less than 0.1% of the US population at the expense of the rest--the portion that benefits from constant war. That is the real reason we have a 14+ trillion dollar National Debt and a projected 1.6 trillion dollar federal budget deficit for the next fiscal year.  Sadly, it appears that <1% of the US population realizes or cares that for over 60 years, our country has initiated offensive wars of aggression in order to enhance the business and economic interests of a numerically small but powerfull Oligarchical "Elite."

Were we to liquidate the American Empire, we could easily balance the federal budget and reduce the National Debt to zero over the next 10-15 years. That could be accomplished without any significant change in current Social Security policy.  The math is very simple. War-making is cost-prohibitive as well as immoral!

Obviously, there are other totally immoral and illegal activities which contribute to the US financial crisis such as the "too big to fail" Investment Banks, the lack of proper financial oversight and regulation despite last year's largely ineffectual Dodd/Frank legislation passed by the Congress and the unjust corporate welfare provided to Energy Companies in the form of subsidies. These should all be addressed as well. However, the most serious fundamental underlying issue is that of the unsustainable cost of maintaining the American Empire.

Were we to simply add a functioning "public option" (uniformly rejected by the Republicans) component to the Obama Health Care Plan enacted last year  it would be unnecessary to entertain the kind of Draconian enterprise that Congressman Paul Ryan advocates which would literally end Medicare and Medicaid as publicly funded health care programs for the poor and elderly. As it is, the new Health Care Act of 2010 lacks any effective mechanism for controlling costs while representing a boom to the private health insurance industry.

The Elephant in the Room:

The critical question that needs to be asked is why neither major political party in the United States is willing to address the real dilemma--the so-called "elephant in the room."  Why if things are truly so dire, do we not do the one thing that would solve all of our financial problems--slash the Defense and National Security budgets, end the foreign wars and once and for all end the Empire?  One might note that other developed nations which do not waste valuable resources on war-making ipso facto lack our financial problems.

Consider Brazil, India and China for example. All have large highly profitable economies in which the Debt/GDP ratios are lower than ours where the US Debt/GDP ratio is 90+%. Moreover, in real terms, Brazil and India spend next to nothing on "Defense" and China barely more at 1.4% of GDP. The US spends at least 5% of GDP on Defense (over six times that of China) and almost 42-57% of projected tax revenue on Defense related expenditures.

Many other examples exist as well. Look at the Scandinavian countries or Canada all of whom spend minuscule amounts on "Defense." Even Germany, which has a formidable economy and leads Europe in economic productivity spends almost nothing on so-called "Defense."  All of these nations know what we should as well--money spent on war-making is lost forever to the greater economy. It robs needed funds from the public treasury which would otherwise be available for building or maintaining valuable infra-structure, the supporting of scientific research, or improving education etc. War-making is a completely negative enterprise for everyone except the armament makers. Why do we not end it? I maintain that it is because of the power of the hidden elite or high cabal referred to below.

End the Empire or Perish:

Almost no one in Washington or among the political/pundit class is willing to discuss the actual origin of the US financial crisis--the huge cost of maintaining the American Empire. This no doubt is because the so-called "high-cabal" as the late Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty labeled it, the creme-de-le creme of Plutocrats who control all US policy decisions of import have through intimidation (threat of Assassination for example) and or bribery, managed to completely control what passes as political discourse these days. The personal cost for falling off the wagon or leaving the reservation so to speak is political exile or loss of livelihood.

The last politician who seriously tried to oppose the high cabal was President John F. Kennedy and he was murdered for his efforts. Nevertheless, until we end the American Empire, all attempts at solving our national financial crisis are doomed to failure. We can perform the radical extirpative surgery ourselves or wait for it to be done for us through bankruptcy, balkanization or conquer by a foreign adversary. By then of course, the members of the "high cabal" will be safely ensconced abroad in their callously created refuges--built on the backs of their fellow Americans and off the blood of those against whom we made war--the illicit profits from which will fill their coffer's to the brim.

Will the overburdened and lethargic American middle class awaken before it is too late? Will the 99.9% who are being abused and about to be discarded to the trash heap of history finally recognize what is being done in their names? Will they object en-masse or remain content to play their games, drink their beer, watch their sporting events and carry on with the bread and circus routine as if all is well with the ship of state? Time will tell. If the history of the past 50 years is prologue, fasten your seat belts because we're in for a very bumpy ride.

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